After a World Championships run which included taking out the 10th and eighth seeds, England’s Chris Langridge, along with partner Marcus Ellis, can now take some time to reflect on their superb performances in the Istora last week.
The world number 26 pair looked strong throughout the week at the BWF World Championships.
They eventually fell to home favourites Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan, the 2013 and now also 2015 world champions, at the quarter-final stage on Friday in Indonesia.
Here, Chris reflects on the journey leading up to the championships as well as what impact their performances had on Olympic qualifying…
“The preparation and build up for the BWF World Championships went well; personally I think this actually stemmed from the Europeans last year.
The plan differs when we have a build up to a major championships and last year for the Europeans was the first time I felt that we got this correct.
The balance is quite hard to make sure you feel fresh to travel and compete but also sharp and confident and that you have done enough to feel grooved.
The time frame was good and we even managed to squeeze in a very short holiday five weeks before the World Championships to come back feeling refreshed and mentally focused.
The coaches managed to negotiate a training camp with the Danes at their national centre for us. It mainly consisted of match play with their top pairs, one of which we beat in the last 16 of the championships . It was a very gruelling week as we played up to six sets some days, but it gave us that experience and confidence to know that we could compete with all their pairs. I think this was definitely a contributing factor to our win in the last 16 match.
On our return from the training camp, we then had personalised training from our training partners, so a big thanks to all of them because without their world-class feeding we could not have achieved the results we did.
The draw for Indonesia was neither good nor bad, it was simply a number of good pairs that stood in our way of a medal. I knew that if we had the correct game plan and played well we could do very well against anyone.
The first really tough game we had was against the top Chinese Taipei pair. We did a great deal of video on them and it did help having played them before. The analysis we did worked perfectly and although the first set was exceptionally close, the second set went almost exactly to plan. This was our second win within a few months against a world top 10 pair, which gave us the confidence to really believe we could do well in Indonesia.
The next round against the Danes was a long and gruelling match (1 hour, 29minutes). Although we led the whole of the third set, it got very close at the end of the third and thankfully our nerve held out better than theirs. Once we won that match reality hit home that just one more game and we had a medal and this was the big goal before the tournament began. The one problem was we had 10,000 Indonesian fans and one of the best pairs in the world to overcome.
Then, the thing we feared most happened around late morning on the day we played - we both started to feel ill. Most of the team had battled this throughout the week, with almost everyone at some point struggling with something. We fought as hard as we could and did everything we could to be ready for the match but on the day they were better than us.
If we could have just taken the match to three sets, which we really should have being 20-17 up, it could have been a slightly different story. We were gutted coming off court after that match, both feeling really down as we knew it was such a great chance to write our names into the history books.
The atmosphere in the Istora is almost impossible to describe as there is nowhere in the world that comes even close. The Indonesians are shouting and making an incredible noise even in the warm-up; the passion they have for badminton is truly inspiring. The only way I can try to describe it would be comparing it to teenage girls at a boy band concert, but the Indonesians are even louder than that! The fan culture they have is such that they will do everything they can for the person/partnership they want to win, so they will all happily boo the opponent and cheer on their favourite – this even happens mid-rally!
Massive thank you to everyone for the support over the last week and the whole team at Mk over the last month!#believe— Chris Langridge (@C_Langridge) August 15, 2015
The result from the World Championships puts us in a good position for qualifying for Rio as the points that we gained are good. However, we now need to continue with the momentum that we have. It must inspire us to train harder and feel that the goals we have set are reachable; that we can compete and beat the top guys out there. I truly feel half the battle is believing and then the other half is playing well, you need both to be in alignment to achieve success.
The remainder of the year is quite busy for Marcus and I as we must continue the hunt for Olympic qualification points. The next trip we have is in roughly three weeks to Japan and Korea for Superseries events, then many tournaments follow.
Thankfully we have a stint where we stay in Europe for a few months which is a real blessing as we have been travelling across the whole world as of late.”
Watch all the world's best players at the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships, 8-13 March 2016.
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The English Nationals make a welcome return to Wycombe Leisure Centre this August Bank Holiday - and with tickets from £6 now on sale, bumper crowds are anticipated again.
Following Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson’s Duty of Care in Sport Review, Badminton England is pleased to announce the publication of its Duty of Care Statement.